Israel to launch its first spacecraft to the moon

Share

At a historic press conference Tuesday, at Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)'s MBT Space facility in Yehud, Israel, nonprofit SpaceIL and IAI announced a lunar mission to launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., this December, and land on the moon on February 13, 2019.

"When the rocket goes into orbit", Kahn said, "I think we will all remember where we were when Israel landed on the moon".

The other three nations are the United States, Russia, and China. The spacecraft, which weighs only about 600 kilograms, is considered the smallest to land on the moon. It involves a 1,300-pound lander piggybacking on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch whose primary payload is a communications satellite.

The project began as part of the Google Lunar XPrize, which offered $30 million (25 million euros) in prizes to encourage scientists and entrepreneurs to come up with relatively low-priced moon missions.

Kevin Anderson Upsets Roger Federer at Wimbledon
Raonic, of Thornhill, Ont., fell two wins short of matching his best showing at Wimbledon - a runner-up finish in 2016. Federer, the No. 1 seed, had match point up 5-4 in the third set, but could not put Anderson, the No. 8 seed, away.

SpaceIL made the announcement at an Israel Aerospace Industries space technology site in Yehud on Tuesday, July 10, after month of preparations. Fuel will comprise 75 percent of its weight, which will be 180 kilograms on landing, less than any previous craft that landed on the moon, the company said. SpaceIL was the first of 16 Google Lunar XPRIZE competitors to sign a launch contract and one of only five teams to reach the finals.

Israel will be the fourth nation on the planet to land a spacecraft on the moon, when its SpaceIL touches down on Earth's only natural satellite on February 13, 2019. Building the spacecraft cost $95 million to date. The company undertook to launch its spacecraft this year, and has now announced its timetable for doing so.

It is measured to be four-feet high, and 6 ½-feet in diameter, and it will be able to reach a maximum speed of 22,370 miles per hour.

The project culminated in the design of an Israeli lunar probe, which SpaceIL claimed would launch regardless of the contest's outcome.

Federer impresses Tendulkar with cricket skills at Wimbledon
However since then, the 2.03m-tall Anderson has improved markedly and Wednesday's match will be their first meeting on grass. He forced a tiebreak but, despite losing the first mini-break, Federer turned things around to go two sets ahead.

South African-born Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn, who supplied funding for the project, said that he hoped that this mission would create the sort of enthusiasm that greeted the Apollo missions in the United States. It will begin orbiting Earth on an elliptical path.

The other goal is to give birth to an "Apollo Effect" in Israel, mirroring the USA enthusiasm that encouraged scientists to continue their research after the Apollo Moon landing in 1969.

The initiative aims to raise interest in space and science among Israelis and encourage the younger generations to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics professions.

Ofer Doron, director of Israeli Aerospace Industry Program with the space craft.

The Greenbrier: Kevin Na cruises to second PGA Tour title
Fox failed to match the birdie, with his putt agonizingly lipping out, and Knox put his hands to his face. Varner would birdie holes 11,12, 14, and 17. "I was hoping it would - sooner than later", Na said.

Share